Today, it’s hard to imagine just how much criticism the Eiffel Tower had received when it first went up considering that this incredible structure is one of the world’s most beloved and has been the symbol of Paris and of France for more than a hundred years.
After two years, two months and five days, the construction of the Eiffel Tower was completed, in 1889. The building of it purposefully coincided with the Exposition Universelle of 1889 (1889 World’s Fair) as it was that event’s entrance arch. Impressively, it was the world’s tallest structure from the time it was built until New York’s Chrysler Building was completed in 1930.
But many Parisians were displeased with this structure, calling it an eyesore and saying that it wasn’t Parisian, that it didn’t represent the city that they loved so much. It had also received criticism from Paris’ artistic elite when it was still in the proposal phase. Many of them formed The Committee of Three Hundred, a group that opposed it and wanted it to not exist so that “the untouched beauty of Paris” would not be tarnished as a result.
Fortunately for the dissenters, the original plan was to dismantle it in 1909, after 20 years had passed. But it was not to be. Despite that plan appearing to remain firm in the years leading up to 1909, it turned out that the Eiffel Tower had become so valuable as a radio tower that those in charge decided to leave it up.
Parisians soon started to love it just as the rest of the world has. In fact, today, it is the most visited monument in the world for which an entrance fee is required – tickets cost up to €25 for an adult accessing two lifts and the top level.